Ukraine Heads to Talks as Riots Injure Dozens

Violence continued overnight

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 20, 2014 8:10 AM CST

(Newser) – Dozens of protesters and police were injured in Kiev clashes yesterday that came on the heels of new anti-protest laws, the AP reports; a Russian news site puts the number of wounded police at 70. The fighting continued into the night. Protesters used sticks and pipes, hurling large rocks, fireworks, and apparently firebombs at police, the New York Times reports. Police fired back with tear gas and water cannon. Though opposition leaders condemned the violence, they couldn't stop it, the Times notes.

Following the clashes, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich agreed to negotiations with opposition leaders and protesters, the BBC reports. Today, he said, a government "working group" would meet with opposition leaders and restore peace to the streets. Opposition head Vitali Klitschko, who met with the president, confirmed the plans. "We must use every opportunity to resolve the crisis peacefully," he said, noting the dangers of using force
and saying he "didn't rule out the possibility of a civil war." Meanwhile, the unrest continues. Protesters have installed barricades against vehicles set alight, the AP reports, noting audible stun grenades.

Protesters erected barricades in Kiev after a night of rioting and street protests.   (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
A protester throws a molotov cocktail towards a burning police car in front of him during clashes with police in central Kiev, Ukraine, early Monday, Jan. 20, 2014   (AP Photo /Efrem Lukatsky)
Protesters clash with police in central Kiev, Ukraine, early Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.   (AP Photo/ Andrew Kravchenko)
Protesters clash with police Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
Riot police officers shoot rubber bullets at anti-government protesters Monday, Jan. 20, 2014.   (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
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